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Race & Modernism in Jean Toomer's Cane - Research Paper Example

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This research paper explores race & modernism in Jean Toomer's Cane. Jean Toomer utilizes the concepts of racial slurs coupled with death and the in-depth description of murder as a means to evoke emotion, causing readers to question the societal norms…
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Race & Modernism in Jean Toomers Cane
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Download file to see previous pages The research paper "Race & Modernism in Jean Toomer's Cane" investigates race & modernism in "Cane" of Jean Toomer. Tom suffers a gruesome death at the hands of the white people. Although the story is centered around racial issues, the concept of death provokes emotions within the reader, and the graphic description of the death Tom suffers increases the degree to which emotions are induced within the readers. Toomer uses a racial slur to enhance the scene when a crowd member shouts “two deaths for a goddamn nigger.” The imagery of the death is magnified by the gruesome nature in which it occurs, as Tom “could be seen within the flames. Only his head, erect, lean, like a blackened stone. Stench of burning flesh soaked the air. Tom's eyes popped.” Toomer’s graphic imagery evokes a reaction, repelling readers with the gory details of Tom’s murder. The text is embedded in American culture and history. Toomer’s story is set in the state of Georgia in an unnamed factory town. In “Blood-Burning Moon” this is not explicitly men-tioned, though hinted at through the name of one of the characters, Old David Georgia. However, since this text is part of a larger collection, it should be known to the reader who has read the preceding texts. The connotations with Georgia – e.g. Southern, rural – may not be known to every reader in the target culture. However, this is not a real problem since they are made explicit in the text. The author mentions that factory town is in the South.
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